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BIO

Based in Chamonix, France, Victor is our Chief Guide for the European Alps.

Victor is a world-renowned British mountaineer and became a UIAGM mountain guide in 1996 after a career as an architect in London. He relocated to Chamonix, France in 2003 becoming a member of the SNGM (National Syndicate of French Mountain Guides).

He has climbed extensively throughout Europe, the Himalayas and Karakoram achieving many first ascents including the North Pillar of Spantik. He recently calculated that he’s spent five years of his life under canvas!

Victor summitted Mount Everest for his first of six times in 2004 and with back to back summits on Aconcagua in 2013, he completed his Seven Summits bid.

His ascents list is predominantly on climbs of a remote and desperately hard nature, and Victor is still bubbling over with enthusiasm for the peaks and peoples of the Himalayas after 20 years of climbing.

In addition to being an IFMGA guide, Victor is a recipient of the Boardman Tasker prize for mountain literature and won the Grand Prize at the International Mountain Book Festival at Passey in 2015 for his book "Les Tribulations de Mick & de Vic en Himalaya".

NOTABLE ASCENTS

Everest (8850m)

 
  • Summitted 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2012

Seven Summits

 
  • Completed, 2013

Ben Nevis

 
  • Winter climb of Shield Direct, the first route on Ben Nevis to be graded VI - 1978

Eiger (3970m)

 
  • Winter ascent of North Face - 1978

First Ascents

 
  • Chamsen 2013
  • Tsha Tung 2005
  • Ombigaichen 2002
  • Langtang (first winter ascent) 2001
  • Khoz Sar 2000
  • Panchchuli 1994
  • Panchchuli V 1992
  • Rajramba (SE Ridge) 1992
  • Girgindil 1991
  • Kangchuntse (West Face) 1989
  • Jitchu Drake 1988
  • Spantik (Golden Pillar) 1987
  • Ushba (West Face Direct) 1986
  • Uzum Brak (East Face) 1980

Q & A

 What do you love most about climbing?
Climbing combines the problem solving of chess, and it often takes place in the most beautiful environments. Hard to beat combination.

...about guiding?
Working with those  positive, and often driven, people.... our clients.

Most memorable climbing experiences?
Usually the last one. Whatever that was.

Outside of climbing how do you like to spend your time?
When not working or writing, I spend my time cooking for friends and family, and clambering on steep little bits of rock.I will take up surfing just as soon as I work out how to get my zimmer frame onto a board.

INTERNATIONAL EXPEDITIONS

SEVEN SUMMITS

Alpamayo (5917m)

 
  • Lead Guide, 2014

Aconcagua (6962m)

 
  • Lead Guide, 2013 (x2)

Everest (8848m)

 
  • Summits - 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012
  • Private Guide - 2012
  • Guide - 2006, 2008

Carstensz (4884m)

 
  • Lead Guide, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

Vinson (4892m)

 
  • Lead Guide, 2005, 2010, 2015

Denali (6194m)

 
  • Summitted
  • Turned back due to prolonged bad weather at altitude. 2003

Elbrus (5642m)

 
  • Guided first commercial trek to circumnavigate Elbrus, 1991
  • Lead Guide 2015

8000M PEAKS

Everest (8848m)

 
  • Summits - 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012

Manaslu (8163m)

 

  • Lead Guide - 2014

Cho Oyu (8201m)

 

  • Lead Guide – 1997, 2003, 2006, 2011

K2 (8610m)

 

  • Returned from 8000m on Abruzzi Ridge during rescue operations - 1993

HIMALAYAN CLIMBS

Ama Dablam (6812m)

 

  • Lead Guide – 1997, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2011

Island Peak (6189m)

 

  • Lead Guide - 2007

Tsha Tung (5995m)

 

  • Guided first ascent - 2005

Ombigaichen (6340m)

 

  • First ascent. 2 man alpine style expedition to make first official recorded ascent 2002

Langtang (4984m)

 

  • First winter ascent - 2001

Bhutan

 

  • Guided minor first ascents - 1995

Panchchuli Trek (6904m)

 

  • Guided first ascent of minor col and summit - 1994

Bhutan Basingtang

 

  • Lead Guide - 1993

Panch Chuli V (6500m)

 

  • First ascent with Dick Renshaw, Stephen Sustad & Stephen Venables 1992

Rajramba (6500m)

 

  • First ascent of new route up SE Ridge with Dick Renshaw, Stephen Sustad & Stephen Venables 1992

Kangchuntse (7640m)

 

  • 2 man team, alpine style first ascent of West Face with Stephen Sustad 1989

Jitchu Drake (6800m)

 

  • First ascent - 1988

KARAKORAM

Chamsen (7017m)

 
  • Guided first ascent - 2013

Great Trango Towers (6286m)

 

  • Lead Guide - 2006
Concordia (4800m)
 
  • Lead Guide - 2004

Khoz Sar (5935m)

 

  • First ascent - 2000

Nanga Parbat (8125m)

 

  • Winter reconnaissance and 2 man attempt 1996

Hatezan Zom (5800m)

 

  • Lead Guide - 1994

Gondora La (5600m)

 

  • Lead Guide -  pass near K2 1993

Girgindil (6000m)

 

  • Guided first ascent  - 1991

Ultar (7380m)

 

  • 2 man team, alpine style. Returned from 6800m due to equipment malfunction 1991

Spantik (7050m)

 

  • 2 man team alpine style, first ascent of Golden Pillar with Mick Fowler 1987

Rimo 1

 

  • Attempted with Stephen Venables. Reached 7000m, forced retreat 1985

Uzum Brak (6421m)

 

  • First ascent of East Face - 1980

Bojohagur Duanisir (7300m)

 

  • 2 man team, alpine style.  Attempted with Phil Butler.  Turned around at 7000m due to bad weather 1984

SOUTH AMERICA

Aconcagua  (6962m­)

 
  • Lead Guide on 2 back to back expeditions - 2013

Alpamayo (5947m)

 
  • Lead Guide – 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003

Ecuador Volcanoes

 
  • Lead Guide on 8 of Ecuadors 10 highest volcanoes - 1994
  • Lead Guide, climbed 5 volcanoes including Chimborazo (6268m) and Cotopaxi (5897m), 1994

 

OTHER

Antarctic Peninsula
Ski Touring Expedition

 
  • Guide - 2011
Rock of Gibraltar, Gibraltar
 
  • Lead Guide for small expedition to climb North Face of the rock 2004.

Shisha, Tibet (7000m)

 
  • Winter attempt - 2003

Tien Shan, Central Asia

 
  • Lead guide on four first ascents - 2000

Mustagh Ata, Pamir Mountain Range, China (7500m)

 
  • Lead Guide - 1996

Ushba, Caucusus Mountains, Georgia (4600m)

 
  • 2 man team, alpine style.  First ascent of West Face direct 1986

QUALIFICATIONS

  •  Adventure Consultants' mountain guides are qualified IFMGA / UIAGM Mountain and Ski Guides   UIAGM/IFMGA Ski & Mountain Guide - 1996
  • SNGM (National Syndicate of French Mountain Guides) - 2003

SPECIAL PROJECTS/OTHER

  •  “Les Tribulations de Mick & de Vic en Himalaya”  has won the Grand Prize at Passy Lit Fest in 2015
     
  • Elusive Summits: Four Expeditions in the Karakoram which won the Boardman Tasker prize in 1991
     
  • Trekking and Climbing in the Andes (Trekking and Climbing Guides) by Kate Harper, Val Pitkethly and Victor Saunders
     
  • No Place to Fall: Superalpinism in the Himalaya by Victor Saunders
     
  • Alpes Occidentales: Trekking y Alpinismo by Victor Saunders and Hilary Sharp

 

"I can’t say enough about Victor's leadership on the mountain. Climbing with him was another great experience. He provided a great mix of challenging climbing as well as teaching. Having Victor as a guide lets a novice climber like myself feel safe enough to throw myself into learning new skills and applying them on some great climbs."

"The leadership team was fantastic.  I was initially taken aback when I met the rather diminutive Victor in Mendoza - not the Everest champion I had envisioned.  But he is wise and experienced, thoughtful and cautious, full of stories and a great climb leader.  I became more and more impressed with him as the climb progressed. (Aconcagua 2014)"


"This was an amazing expedition (Manaslu 2014) and Victor is hands down the best mountain guide I have been with. I have known him for years now but never climbed with him before. He is truly an exceptional and gifted mentor in the mountains! "